Green Crab, European Shore Crab
(Carcinus maenas)

These crabs are dark green with yellow or brown blotches; mature females are orange-red underneath. The shell, or carapace, is about 3" (8 cm) wide and relatively square-shaped. They have five points, or spines, along the carapace. These swimming crabs are omnivores -- being both predators and scavengers -- consuming the widest array of marine animals and plants known for any crab in the world. Originally from Europe, they arrived in Narragansett Bay approximately 200 years ago and are found on rocky shores, mud flats, salt marshes and tidal pools. By 2001, however, it was far more common in the subtidal zone in southern New England than in the intertidal zone, the latter now occupied by the Asian shore crab.

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